ALIMONY IN GEORGIA

I was in court a few days ago trying to resolve a case in which my client is in Afghanistan and could not come to court yet he was desperate to finalize his divorce, realizing that we needed to get the matter resolved and would not without the agreement of the wife I offered her alimony.  What was unusual about this is that the marriage was a very short term marriage and if he was not going to be overseas for the next two years she would not have received alimony.  I relay this because the judge hearing the matter told her that in Georgia he usually does not even consider alimony in marriages less than seven years old.   You see in Georgia alimony is based on the persons need and the other party’s ability to pay.  However, there are several factors that the judge will consider when deciding on alimony and one of the most significant of these factors is the length of marriage.  All too many people watch housewives of somewhere and have the misconception that there will automatically be support paid.  Nothing could be further than the truth and courts are quickly moving away from any sort of long term support for one spouse.   If you have an education, a job, the ability to get a job, have no issues of disability, have worked in the past; in essence, if you have not been a stay at home parent who has sacrificed all of the previous opportunities for many years you are not guaranteed any sort of spousal support.   As the courts trend away from alimony the length of support when granted has also tended to be for shorter periods.  The courts refer to this as transitional income and the purpose is just that, to allow one party to transition back into the workforce.   So, unless you have been married for some time and your spouse makes a great deal of money I highly recommend you prepare for life without the income of your spouse.  As painful as this will be it will be far more painful going to court expecting a significant amount of money and discovering that next’s months rent is on you.

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